Infant and Newborn Care

A baby's body and brain develop at an astounding rate in the first year of live. Your tiny newborn quickly morphs into a curious, active little human eager to explore the .

Common to the different conceptual frameworks is the belief that parenting practices and the infant's capacity for social engagement are biologically based and conform to a prototypical form. The role of the father in early family interactions. Whether you're looking for an organic wash, a soapless cleanser, or a 2-in-1 product, there's something here for every mom and baby.

An infant (from the Latin word infans, meaning
Newborn Care A newborn baby can feel small and fragile. Learn how to care for your newborn and find out what to do if your baby has colic, jaundice, or an umbilical hernia.
A baby's body and brain develop at an astounding rate in the first year of live. Your tiny newborn quickly morphs into a curious, active little human eager to explore the .
A baby's body and brain develop at an astounding rate in the first year of live. Your tiny newborn quickly morphs into a curious, active little human eager to explore the .
What you should know about newborn sleep, tips to help your baby get a good night's rest, swaddling your newborn, and more Newborn Baby Health & Safety Newborn tests, healthy weight gain, and how close you should stay to your newborn.
Baby may be, well, a little funny-looking.

What you should know about newborn sleep, tips to help your baby get a good night's rest, swaddling your newborn, and more Newborn Baby Health & Safety Newborn tests, healthy weight gain, and how close you should stay to your newborn.

Here are the must-haves and the don't-needs to help you shop smart. Babies are naturally gassy, but you can take preventive measures to keep your little one comfortable. Is your diet causing gas in your baby? Find out how what you eat may affect your breastfeeding little one. Fever in infants can be scary, but don't panic, mama!

Read all about baby temperature, and find out how to safely treat your child's first fever. When it comes to keeping your baby clean, there's a dizzying array of options to choose from, whether it's baby soaps, shampoos, or body washes. So how do you pick the best one? We've selected 13 top bath products you can feel good about using on your little one. Whether you're looking for an organic wash, a soapless cleanser, or a 2-in-1 product, there's something here for every mom and baby.

You've got a new member of your family who requires lots of love and special care. How much do you know about diapering, bathing, and feeding your newborn? Take our quiz and find out. There are two types of contact dermatitis: Find out how to identify and treat both skin conditions and when you should call the doctor. It can be hard to notice food-allergy symptoms in babies. Here's how to tell if your newborn could be suffering from one.

A newborn's head is very large in proportion to the body, and the cranium is enormous relative to his or her face. The two largest are the diamond-shaped anterior fontanel, located at the top front portion of the head, and the smaller triangular-shaped posterior fontanel, which lies at the back of the head. Later in the child's life, these bones will fuse together in a natural process. A protein called noggin is responsible for the delay in an infant's skull fusion.

During labour and birth, the infant's skull changes shape to fit through the birth canal , sometimes causing the child to be born with a misshapen or elongated head. It will usually return to normal on its own within a few days or weeks.

Special exercises sometimes advised by physicians may assist the process. Some newborns have a fine, downy body hair called lanugo. It may be particularly noticeable on the back, shoulders, forehead, ears and face of premature infants. Lanugo disappears within a few weeks. Infants may be born with full heads of hair; others, particularly caucasian infants, may have very fine hair or may even be bald.

Amongst fair-skinned parents, this fine hair may be blonde, even if the parents are not. The scalp may also be temporarily bruised or swollen, especially in hairless newborns, and the area around the eyes may be puffy.

Immediately after birth, a newborn's skin is often grayish to dusky blue in color. As soon as the newborn begins to breathe, usually within a minute or two, the skin's color reaches its normal tone. Newborns are wet, covered in streaks of blood, and coated with a white substance known as vernix caseosa , which is hypothesised to act as an antibacterial barrier.

The newborn may also have Mongolian spots , various other birthmarks , or peeling skin, particularly on the wrists, hands, ankles, and feet. A newborn's genitals are enlarged and reddened, with male infants having an unusually large scrotum.

The breasts may also be enlarged, even in male infants. This is caused by naturally occurring maternal hormones and is a temporary condition. Females and even males may actually discharge milk from their nipples sometimes called witch's milk , or a bloody or milky-like substance from the vagina. In either case, this is considered normal and will disappear with time.

The umbilical cord of a newborn is bluish-white in color. The umbilical stub will dry out, shrivel, darken, and spontaneously fall off within about 3 weeks. This will later become a belly-button after it heals. Occasionally, hospitals may apply triple dye to the umbilical stub to prevent infection , which may temporarily color the stub and surrounding skin purple.

Infants cry as a form of basic instinctive communication. Breastfeeding is the recommended method of feeding by all major infant health organizations. Infants are born with a sucking reflex allowing them to extract the milk from the nipples of the breasts or the nipple of the baby bottle , as well as an instinctive behavior known as rooting with which they seek out the nipple.

Sometimes a wet nurse is hired to feed the infant, although this is rare, especially in developed countries. From birth to four months, infants should consume breast milk or an unmodified milk substitute. As infants grow, food supplements are added. Many parents choose commercial, ready-made baby foods to supplement breast milk or formula for the child, while others adapt their usual meals for the dietary needs of their child.

Whole cow's milk can be used at one year, but lower-fat milk is not recommended until the child is 2 to 3 years old.

Weaning is the process through which breast milk is eliminated from the infant's diet through the introduction of solid foods in exchange for milk. Children need more sleep than adults—up to 18 hours for newborn babies, with a declining rate as the child ages. Until babies learn to walk, they are carried in the arms, held in slings or baby carriers, or transported in baby carriages or strollers. Most industrialized countries have laws requiring child safety seats for babies in motor vehicles.

Infants respond to the sound of snake hissing, angry voices of adults, the crackling sound of a fire, thunder, and the cries of other infants. They have a drop in heart rate, their eyes blinking, increased turning toward the speakers or parent, all of these indicating that they were paying more attention.

This is believed by some to be evolutionary response to danger. Studies have shown that infants who have been the recipients of positive touch experience more benefits as they develop emotionally and socially.

Experiments have been done with infants up to four months of age using both positive touch stroking or cuddling and negative touch poking, pinching or tickling. The infants who received the positive touch cried less often and also vocalized and smiled more than the infants who were touched negatively.

Infants who were the recipients of negative touching have been linked with emotional and behavioral problems later in life. A lower amount of physical violence in adults has been discovered in cultures with greater levels of positive physical touching. The infant is undergoing many adaptations to extrauterine life , and its physiological systems, such as the immune system , are far from fully developed.

And if the stump bleeds a little when the cord falls off, that's okay, too, as Alyson Bracken, of West Roxbury, Massachusetts, learned. But there was no need to worry: The spot may pulsate because it's directly over blood vessels covering the brain. Baby needs to eat every two to three hours -- but if you're nursing, it's tough to know how much milk she's getting. Your pediatrician will check it within a few days of discharge. A newborn loses 5 to 8 percent of her birthweight within the first week but should gain it back by the second.

Diaper-counting can also act as a gauge: There's no doubt that babies poop -- a lot! If you're still getting the hang of diapering , learn how to change one at 6 weeks. Initially, he may be soft and silky, but that changes. You don't have to do anything about dry skin it typically peels and flakes off , but if you're so inclined, reach for a hypoallergenic baby lotion that is fragrance-free.

Little pink bumps, diaper rashes, and even baby acne may also make an appearance. Keep baby out of the sun, and avoid sick people no toddler birthday parties!

Knowing what to expect when you have a newborn can ease the anxiety that every new parent feels and give you confidence as you bond with your new baby. Here you'll find advice and information on everything from bathing and feeding your baby to establishing good sleep habits, interpreting your baby's cries, and knowing when to call the doctor. Newborn Care A newborn baby can feel small and fragile. Learn how to care for your newborn and find out what to do if your baby has colic, jaundice, or an umbilical hernia. A baby's body and brain develop at an astounding rate in the first year of live. Your tiny newborn quickly morphs into a curious, active little human eager to explore the .